The Public Ulities Board (PUB) has attributed the cause of the flash floods that occured at Lorong 23 Geylang and the KPE slip road to PIE (towards Changi) on 11 November to lapses in drainage maintenance on the part of Straits Construction Singapore Pte Ltd (SCS), a construction contractor.
Heavy downpour occurred in the first days of November, causing flash floods in several areas. First hit was Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Batok in western Singapore on 10th Nov. And the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and Lorong 23 Geylang were flooded as well with other areas in the central and southern region on high flood risk.
PUB stated that stormwater collected in the roadside drain at Lorong 23 Geylang is discharged into a downstream drain at the KPE slip road, before finally emptying into Pelton Canal. This drain runs along Lorong 23 Geylang, Sims Place and Sims Drive before joining up to a culvert undercrossing PIE (including the KPE slip road to PIE towards Changi).
It noted that the culvert then links up to a 1.2m diameter pipe drain that runs through a construction site (for an international school) that is operated by SCS, before it meets the Pelton Canal.
PUB stated that its investigations found that the pipe drain passing through the construction site was choked and unable to convey stormwater effectively into the Pelton Canal, which had caused flooding at KPE slip road and Lorong 23 Geylang.
The authority noted that SCS is required to take proper measures to maintain the flow capacity of this pipe drain as construction is underway and it will be taking enforcement action against SCS for the lack of proper maintenance of the drainage system within their site.
Online, netizens have been vocal about the floods – sharing reports of water level and photos of the flood in different areas. Hilariously, many are referring to the incidents as ‘ponding’ – a reference to a few years ago when the media came up with the term ‘ponding’ in reference to the Orchard Road floods as a way to avoid using the word ‘flood’.
One a more serious note, many are urging the government to take a more proactive role to upgrade the island’s drainage system to cope with the floods that are inevitable each monsoon season.